After a wonderful few weeks in Minnesota, spending time with family and friends and cleaning out my lungs, I am now back in Beijing, a city that is approaching manic panic levels as the countdown clock shouts to all that there are now only 27 days until the start of the Games. Yikes. I’ve only been here for 36 hours now, and even I can look around and see that, glowing media reports not withstanding, some things are definitely NOT ready. The 3 new subway lines that were to be opened by mid-June are still quiet. In fact, the new subway station across from the volleyball venue is still a very active construction site. They say the lines will be operational by the Games. Yes, but will they have had any time to test them? Or will it be “Welcome to The Beijing Olympics. You are the lucky ones who get to ride these new lines AS we test them. Please hang on!” Construction cranes and unfinished buildings are everywhere. The rumor is still that the cranes must come down by the end of the month. What will they do with them I wonder. The city is certainly being tidied up, however. Yesterday I spotted a man washing the streetlight poles. If you’ve got the labor, put them to work! On the personal side, my hunt for event tickets has begun. So far, I’ve managed to get ahold of some biking and tennis tickets. My main goal is the men’s volleyball finals. I’ll keep you posted.